The fate of the MNA-elect from NA-19, Haripur is in the hands of over 9,000 voters who will cast votes at seven polling stations of the constituency today (Wednesday).
A total 9,198 registered voters, including 5,712 women, will vote for candidates for the second time within a span of eight months. At least 20 polling booths have been prepared and 10 to 12 policemen along with elite force officials will provide security.
An interesting aspect of this election is the fact that both main contenders, Omar Ayub and Dr Raja Amir Zaman, are close relatives of two MPAs.
PK-49, Haripur-I MPA Raja Faisal Zaman, elected on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket, is the younger brother of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Raja Amir Zaman. PTI’s MPA elect from PK-50, Haripur-II is the first cousin of Omar Ayub Khan.
Some insiders claim, these MPAs are indirectly influencing the voters and asking for support for their relatives in violation of party discipline.
PTI’s Dr Raja Amir Zaman had won the May 11 elections with 117,000 votes. However, runner-up Omar Ayub Khan, who belongs to the PML-N, challenged the results of 78 polling stations, accusing the winner of rigging.
In response to Omar’s petition, the returning officer carried out a recount and declared Zaman the winner on May 24, 2013. However, Omar once again objected to the results of seven polling stations and demanded re-election. On December 31, election tribunal Abbottabad suspended Dr Zaman’s membership and ordered re-polling.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2014.